Career readiness. College readiness. Being ready, period. That, in a nutshell, is the goal of education. But we all know that sometimes teens and adults who have been out of school for some time aren't ready for jobs or college. That's where bridge programs come in, and they take a variety of forms, according to a new study from the Workforce Strategy Center.
The study surveys the types of programs in existence now that help adults, primarily, gain the remedial skills they need to get ready for college courses or technical training. Bridge programs these days go way beyond simple GED certificates or English as a Second Language, and they typically are geared to specific industries, according to the study.
At the same time, the Business Roundtable has teamed up with Accenture to launch an online course for recent college graduates on how to manage their first job hunt and office politics.
The course was developed after BRT surveyed its own members about shortcomings they see in new hires and other applicants for entry-level jobs. Even with full college educations, some young adults need tips on how to manage their online social networking, office demeanor, or work attire.
What are these studies telling us? Should we expect learning gaps from traditional education, understanding that employers, tutors, or mentors are more appropriate to fill those holes? Are traditional schools and colleges falling short? How effective are "bridge" programs--online courses, technical training, career counseling--at filling these gaps?